Bishop Museum To Open New Picture Gallery Jan. 19, 2008
New Product Lines from Bishop Press Feature Museum Art Collections

Media and Travel Industry Preview and Open House
 Jan. 18 from 8: 30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.; Film crews and Photographers Welcome.
 Archivist DeSoto Brown will give Gallery Talk at 9:15 a.m.;
Volunteer Michael Horikawa will be available for interviews
Please RSVP to Megan Anderson at megan.anderson@bishopmuseum.org
Free Parking in our Visitor Lot

Bishop Museum Press will be releasing a new line of products including Art Posters and Notecard collections just in time for the Grand Opening of the Bishop Museum Picture Gallery and Atrium Lobby January 19, 2008, at 9 a.m. For more than sixty years, Bishop Museum’s premiere collection of art about Hawai‘i was out of sight and mostly unknown to the greater Hawaiian community. That’s all about to change when the doors open to the new Bishop Museum Picture Gallery and Atrium Lobby on Saturday

Bishop Museum’s unrivaled collection of oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper will finally have a permanent home for year-round display.  And it will be accessible by elevator for the first time in the history of the building through the new glass-walled Atrium Lobby. The elevator will also provide access to Polynesian Hall, floors two and three, and to the newly renovated Hawaiian Hall when it reopens in spring 2009. And visitors will be able to purchase posters and notecards selected from the collection in Shop Pacifica and other fine bookstores and gift shops in Hawai‘i.

Death of CookBishop Museum Press, under the direction of Ron Cox, will release a special collection of Art Posters featuring eight full-color images from selected works in the prestigious Bishop Museum art collection about Hawaii.  The posters will be available in two sizes, 18 x 24-inches and 24 x 36-inches. Among the images in the smaller art poster size will be John Webber’s Man of the Sandwich Islands, dancing; Man of the Sandwich Islands, half face tattooed; and Sailing Canoes off Niihau.  Another art poster of the 1887 portrait of Bishop Museum namesake, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, by Federigo de Madrazo y Kuntz will also be available.   Featured in the larger size art poster size will be the striking period landscapes of Diamond Head from Waikiki (ca. 1865) by Enoch Wood Perry, Jr., and The Beach At Waikiki  (ca. 1896) by D. Howard Hitchcock.

Botanical printCox is also releasing a twelve-notecard set created from botanical images in the Museum’s impressive Angus collection.  The set contains two each of six botanical illustrations, including hibiscus, gardenia, orchid, bird-of-paradise, calla lily, and plumeria. 

Another selection of notecards features twelve images from the famed Bishop Museum art collection including Banko’s 1889 portrait of Princess Ka‘iulani; Enoch Wood Perry, Jr.’s Manoa Valley from Waikiki (ca. 1865); Charles Furneaux’s Wild Banana Trees illuminated by Volcanic Fire; three John Webber images, and other works by Louis Choris, Federigo de Madrazo y Kuntz, D. Howard Hitchcock, and other noted artists of the time. The 24-notecard set contains two each of twelve images and comes in a beautifully-designed keepsake gift box.

Posters will be available for $16.95 (18x24) and $24.95 (24x36). Notecard collections will be priced at $9.95 (Botanicals) and $16.95 (Art Collection).  Both the posters and the notecard collections will be available in the newly renovated Shop Pacifica at Bishop Museum on January 19.  They will also be available in finer gift shops and bookstores on all the islands.

Picture Gallery, c. 1890Michael Horikawa is serving as an independent art consultant as well as assisting with the restoration of selected works of art that will be featured in the very first exhibition in the new Picture Gallery.  One of the largest private collectors of early examples of art of and about Hawai‘i, Horikawa has found a niche and a burgeoning market for period Hawaiian art.  He owns and operates his own gallery, Michael D. Horikawa Fine Art, on East Mānoa Road where the walls are decorated with artists such as Charles Bartlett, D. Howard Hitchcock, Jules Tavernier, and Joseph Strong, as well as fine examples of period koa furniture and rare decorative arts with island motifs.

Over the past two years, Horikawa has become intimately familiar with Bishop Museum’s painting collection.  He has closely examined individual works of art, reviewed past conservation reports and acquisition records, and formulated prioritized plans for their ongoing restoration.  As a gallery owner, Horikawa has connections with a host of professionals including conservators, framers, and restoration specialists. This knowledge is being put to good use to benefit Bishop Museum’s art collection. In the past year, more than fifteen paintings have been conserved, frames for another twenty have been refurbished or replaced, and other paintings have been evaluated and prioritized for more significant conservation treatment. Replacement frames are the highest possible quality featuring 24-carat gold water gilding and replicated in the traditional 19th-century styles by museum quality framing experts who also do framing for the Smithsonian Museums and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

         According to Horikawa, “The Bishop Museum Hawaiian art collection is simply THE finest 19th century collection of Hawaiian art that exists in the world today. Period.”   

         Bishop Museum’s extraordinary collection of visual art of Hawai’i and the Pacific focuses on art from the 18th and early 19th centuries.  This collection represents a remarkable window into the past—a visual documentation of Pacific cultures at the time of first western contact and beyond.  The earliest pieces are those of artists associated with voyaging expeditions of the 18th and 19th centuries, including John Webber—the artist who accompanied Captain Cook—and Louis Choris, the artist for explorer Louis Von Kotzebue. 

         Oil paintings from the 18th and 19th century will form the foundation of the Picture Gallery's new permanent displays. More delicate watercolors, such as the first views of the Hawaiian Islands created by Webber, will be periodically rotated together with rare books and manuscripts from the Museum’s Library and Archives.    

         “The renewed Picture Gallery will be a place to experience the stories of Hawai‘i and the Pacific, to appreciate fine art, and to visually experience the Hawai‘i and the Pacific of earlier times,” says Tim Johns, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bishop Museum.

         The Museum’s art collection spans a broad array of cultural and natural history subjects, including significant images of early Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and their lifestyles. Illustrations of flora and fauna of the Pacific region, incredible early views of volcanoes, and striking portraits of prominent individuals all provide us with important glimpses into the historical times this art represents.

         Included in the art collection are approximately 250 oil paintings and 4,000 works of art on paper. Notable artists represented in the collection include: British painter George Carter (1737-1794); Titian Ramsay Peale (1799-1885); international portrait painter Enoch Wood Perry (1831-1915); maritime artist William A. Coulter (1849-1936); Joseph D. Strong, Jr. (1852-1899); and volcano artist David Howard Hitchcock (1861-1943), among many others.

         The new Picture Gallery is an integral part of the $21 million Hawaiian Hall Renovation Project, which began in June 2006.   This is the first major renovation of the historic structure in over 100 years. Bishop Museum is re-establishing the former Picture Gallery in its original place on the second floor.  When Bishop Museum first opened in 1889, it contained just three exhibit rooms, one of which was the Picture Gallery, which opened for public viewing in 1891. The Picture Gallery presented portraits of Hawaiian monarchs, photographs documenting many Pacific cultures, and books.  Later, display cases, koa furniture, and busts of Princess Pauahi and Charles Reed Bishop were added.

         The Picture Gallery was closed in 1940, to be used first for storage and later for other types of exhibits.  At the time of the closure, the art from the gallery was either relocated within the Museum or placed in storage.  Since then, the majority of this collection has not been available for public viewing, and many additional pieces have been added to the Museum’s holdings.   With the re-opening of the Picture Gallery in January, the Museum will present the first showing of selected pieces from this outstanding art collection in more than sixty years.  The restoration of the Picture Gallery is being supported in part by the Dolores Furtado Martin Foundation.

         Bishop Museum Vice President for Institutional Advancement Amy Miller Marvin hopes the new Picture Gallery will bear the name of a prominent family or person in Hawai‘i’s community, either as a memorial to someone in the past or in honor of a living community philanthropist. 

         “Naming opportunities at cultural institutions are a rare opportunity to recognize those individuals, families or companies who take their civic obligation to their community seriously and with great pride,” says Marvin.

         Those interested in learning more about the naming opportunity may call Marvin at (808) 848-4169 or email her at amiller@bishopmuseum.org.

         Following the January opening, Bishop Museum will partner once again with Morton’s The Steakhouse Honolulu at Ala Moana Center, to host its third annual Picture Gallery and Art Restoration fundraiser.  Set for September 2008, proceeds from the event will support ongoing art conservation and restoration of Bishop Museum’s art works. Last year, the Museum raised over $36,000 that was used to prepare art works for display in the new gallery.  For information about this upcoming gourmet food and wine event, contact Amy Miller Marvin at (808) 848-4169.

For more information about Bishop Museum’s Picture Gallery, call 808.847.3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.  For more information about Hawaiian Hall Renovation Project, call Amy Miller Marvin, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at (808) 848-4169.

Picture Gallery Timeline
1888
: Construction on Bishop Museum’s first building begins.
1890: The building is completed, containing just three exhibit spaces: Kahili Room, Vestibule Gallery, and Picture Gallery.
June 22, 1891: Bishop Museum has its first public opening.
1890s: In its early years, the Picture Gallery contains paintings, photos, glass-topped freestanding cases with a variety of objects, and a few shelves holding the start of the Bishop Museum Library. (These books had mostly belonged to Charles and Bernice Pauahi Bishop.)
1899: Construction of Hawaiian Hall, abutting against one wall of the Picture Gallery, requires the windows on that side be covered over. The interior window frames on the courtyard-side wall are also removed. Four paintings by D. Howard Hitchcock, including those of Kilauea and Mauna Loa’s Mokuaweoweo Crater, are added to the collection.
1900-1920s: Inset shelves in each corner of the room display busts or other objects. Miscellaneous “curios” or artifacts are placed in different locations throughout the room. Examples seen in old photos include large calabashes, model canoes and grass houses, an elephant tusk, and a spinning wheel.
1934: The Picture Gallery is refurbished and some paintings are re-hung from other locations in the Museum.
1936: The Picture Gallery is closed. Due to its location, oversight of the space is difficult and vandalism occurs. Additionally, the Fire Marshal decides that the room is unsafe because there is only a single possible exit via the front stairway, which is made of wood and would burn.
1954: Renovations to the Vestibule Gallery disclose extensive termite damage to the floor beams of the unused Picture Gallery, requiring them to be replaced by steel beams. After this, the space is temporarily used as a studio for those working on the exhibits and art for the Kahili Room and Vestibule Gallery.
Ca. 1955-1965: The room is used for storage.
1964: Material is moved out of storage from the Picture Gallery.
1965: Renovations to the room occur, including new electrical outlets, new paint, two doors installed into the 3rd floor of Hawaiian Hall, and red wall-to-wall carpeting. The skylight, which had allowed too much collections-damaging sunlight into the space, is covered over by this time. It’s announced that the space will become the Health and Human Biology Hall, to contain “Valeda,” the life-sized talking plastic model of a woman that was already in use for display. (This does not appear to have actually happened, however.)
December 23, 1965: The Bishop Museum staff Christmas party is held in the refurbished room.
October 1966: As part of special programming for Aloha Week, the “Red Carpet Room” (as it’s called informally by staff), is used temporarily to display whaling artifacts and for daily showings of a film documentary called “Whaler Out of New Bedford.”
May-June 1967: The newly-titled Monarchy Room opens with a fully-installed exhibit. A “very attractive and functional staircase leading into Hawaiian Hall” (and utilizing the doors created two years earlier) is built. The room now features furniture and objects owned by different Hawaiian ali`i, with King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani’s thrones, originally from Iolani Palace, displayed against one wall. The first visitor to the partly-unfinished gallery is Prince Akihito of Japan, on May 30. On June 2, the room is available for viewing by Bishop Museum Association members at an open house.
Early 1970s: Some objects are removed from the Monarchy Room to be displayed at the Bishop Museum branch location in the new King’s Alley shopping center in Waikiki.
June 1977: The Hall of Hawaiian Natural History is opened in the former Monarchy Room. It contains specimens or models of both native and introduced plants and animals, and some interactive exhibits.
2006: The Hall of Hawaiian Natural History is closed and the exhibits removed for the extensive renovations of the space as part of the Hawaiian Hall project. This includes the removal of the doors into Hawaiian Hall and the adjoining stairway, the construction of a new doorway and stairs from the Elevator Court, the re-plastering of the entire domed ceiling, and the uncovering and re-lighting of the skylight.
January 19, 2007: The restored Picture Gallery opens, displaying some of the paintings it held over a century earlier.

-pau-

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